Ways To Take Care Of The Umbilical Cord Stump

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Umbilical Cord Stump
Source: https://bestcare.org/

It is truly a wonder that the belly button was once upon a time a route to providing the all-essential nutrition and oxygen to the baby who is cuddled inside you.

What Is An Umbilical Cord?

The umbilical cord is a rope-like structure. It is formed in the early stage of pregnancy. It is soft with a smooth outer covering of the amnion. It is made up of three vessels and one vein and has a substance called Wharton’s Jelly, which keeps the blood vessels safe. The umbilical cord starts forming at about 4 weeks of pregnancy and the normal length of the umbilical cord is 50-60 cm.

What Is An Umbilical Cord Stump?

Once the baby is delivered, the doctor cuts and clamps the cord a few inches apart to separate the mother and the baby. After the cord-cutting, a small stump is left behind as a belly button for 7 to 21 days.

The stump initially appears pale and moist, but quickly becomes drier and darker in colour. Gradually, it will become brown or black and shriveled and that is quite normal. At this time, the cord stump is deprived of oxygen and nutrition. Moreover, the baby doesn’t need to depend on the cord for its essentials. The baby can get its essential nutrients directly from the breastmilk. However, the cord falls off within two weeks and that indicates healing. However, cord stump care is also required.

Therefore, read this article to find out how to take care of the cord stump.  

How to Take Care of the Cord Stump?

Here are a few things to be kept in mind:

Cleanliness is Essential

The stump is so tiny that it might appear a little sticky and unclean at times. It needs to be cleaned with a dab of cotton or a wet cloth. Try not to use alcohol or soap as that causes irritation to the little one’s skin.

Keeping It Dry

The cord stump heals naturally. So, look for low-waist diapers and keep the stump exposed to the air to dry. Also, keep in mind that you should avoid the cord stump’s contact with urine.

Sponge Bathing the Baby

After the baby’s birth, till the time that his or her cord stump falls off, sponge bathing the newborn is the best way out. That will make sure that the navel is not in the water for long. The baby tube bought for the tiny tot may remain unused for a couple of weeks.

Sensibly Dressing the Baby

Some parents want to dress up their baby smartly. However, the idea is to keep the cord stump less obstructed. Therefore, it is best to make the baby dress in loose-fitting clothes. The lesser the rubbing, the quicker is the process of healing.

Allowing Naturally Drying of the Stump

The navel might be slightly wet after the stump has fallen off. Leaving it alone and not wiping it off is the idea. The area will dry up on its own within a week’s time. However, the doctor should be informed if there is bleeding or sticky and smelly discharge from the stump.

Alternately, if a baby is prematurely born and has other health issues, he or she might be suffering from infection. Therefore, keeping a close eye is a must.

What Happens When the Stump Falls Off?

A few drops of blood on the baby’s diaper, a scab over the navel, after the cord stump falls off after 3 weeks, are not unnatural. However, if it is associated with fever or infection, and the baby’s stomach turns red calling the doctor is mandatory. Adding on to these, if a little scar is seen on the belly button, by forming red mass or bump which is also called an umbilical granuloma. In this situation, the doctors use silver nitrate on the granuloma to burn off the tissue or liquid nitrogen to freeze the lump. It will dry up and disappear on its own. If it doesn’t surgery helps.

When the cord is in the mother’s womb, the cord connects the mother with the baby emotionally and physically. Some poets even take the poetic liberty to call the umbilical cord the string of life and needs care after childbirth.

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